Facebook, Partner To Build Menlo Park Housing Complex



Facebook is in the housing business.

The social network giant has partnered on a new, 394-unit apartment complex to be built “within walking distance” of its headquarters and campus in Menlo Park.

For Menlo Park, the financial beating heart of Silicon Valley, the complex represents the first significant new housing development in 20 years. While open to the community, including a handful of low-income tenants, it’s one way for companies like Facebook to address the housing squeeze affecting the swelling ranks of tech workers up and down the expensive Bay Area.

“Facebook is a strong supporter of its local community and consistently recognized as one of the best places in the world to work,” said a Facebook spokeswoman. “This project advances both goals, by providing our employees an excellent new housing option within walking distance to campus while investing in new housing opportunities in our local community.”

The $120 million, 630,000-square-foot complex, called Anton Menlo, is a partnership between Facebook and Northern California residential real estate developer St. Anton Partners. Details of the financial arrangement, including Facebook’s investment, were not disclosed.

Designed by Southern California architects KTGY Group, it will have a mix of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. As part of Facebook’s agreement with the city, 15 below-market-rate units are set aside for low-income tenants. Rents TBA.

It also has, in the words of KTGY principal Keith Labus, “everything the young professional could want to complement their busy lifestyle.” Besides the routine pool, communal kitchen facilities and rooftop deck, other amenities include a “grab-and-go” convenience store, sports pub, bike repair shop, a yoga room with personal trainer, and a pet spa with doggy day care.

“With the guidance of Facebook and its employees, we have designed a cutting-edge project that meets the needs and tastes of today’s sophisticated renters,” said Steve Eggert, co-founder of St. Anton Partners.

Menlo Park’s Planning Commission is scheduled to review the project this week. Assuming it’s all thumbs-up, work begins on the 10-acre parcel next month, with an opening set for 2016.

Noting that the project is one of the largest new residential rental projects in the state, co-founder Peter Geremia said, “we’re pleased to bring it to where housing is needed most.”

Last month a 51-unit apartment building, in which Google invested $6.5 million, opened in Mountain View a short distance from the company’s headquarters. Designed by KTGY Group, the $23 million affordable-housing project is aimed at people in the mid-$40,000 salary range. Rents range from $937 to $1,291 a month. It’s fully occupied.

Curtain raised: Here’s the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce‘s new logo, unveiled Tuesday, “to better reflect San Francisco’s unique and innovative business community.”

As mentioned in my Sunday column (bit.ly/15Jpdzx), it’s part of the chamber’s major rebranding and updated mission “to more deeply connect the business community, build consensus on major issues and rally behind sustained economic growth.”

The logo was created by San Francisco designer Primo Angeli – “S.F.’s poster boy” of packaging and poster design, according to The Chronicle – with an assist from package designer Stapley-Hildebrand.

Whatever one thinks of the aesthetic, kudos to the chamber for stepping outside the box.

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